As I have done when reacting to news like this before, I’m going to give some answers to some of the most common questions I’ve seen about this news in this piece.
Does this mean the takeover is done?
While this news doesn’t mean the takeover is complete, it is a huge step in the right direction. The announcement confirms that letters of intent have been signed both for stakes in the club and the stadium, and that the final “Definitive Agreements” should be signed off within two months.
Things can go wrong though, so it’s not quite time to pop champagne corks or to proclaim “it’s done” online. However, while the fat lady isn’t yet singing she is warming up her vocal cords.
Who is buying the club?
The purchaser is not named in either announcement; however the assumption is that it is Often Partisan Limited.
What exactly is being bought and sold?
There are two transactions being done with these letters of intent, which will be performed simultaneously.
The first transaction is between BSH and the purchaser, and will mean that BSH will sell 24% of it’s 75% stake in the club.
The second transaction is between Oriental Rainbow Investments, Achiever Global Group and the purchaser, and will mean ORI and AGG will sell both the 21.64% stake in the club that ORI owns and 100% of the stadium.
Before the deal, the shareholding in the club will look like this.
After the deal, the shareholding in the club will look like this.
The assumption is then that the remaining 51% will be sold by BSH to the unnamed purchaser in due course.
What about the EFL investigation into Wang Yaohui?
As of the time of writing, there still has not been any confirmation of charges with respect to the EFL investigation into Wang Yaohui (aka the elusive Mr King).
It’s interesting that this news has come out before the charges because it would appear to confirm the vibes I have been getting from Hong Kong that BSH are ready to do a deal.
With shares tanking by 36% today to an all time low, it might be that investors in BSH are now getting antsy that this is the end of the road.
It’s worth noting that the shares moved on just three miniscule trades, with two of them occurring right at the end of the day. With such a huge spread in prices, one can’t help but feel someone got wind of this and it’ll be interesting to see how they are affected tomorrow.
My hope remains that once the charges are announced trading in shares will be suspended to protect their value if nothing else, forcing BSH to speed up the second part of the deal.
If, as I suspect, the HK authorities are already looking with interest at the EFL will charge people, it could become a very buyer-friendly deal after all.
So what now?
The most important thing we need to display now is patience.
As I’ve said before repeatedly, the sign of a professional wanting to do a deal is discretion and we’ve seen that from OPL.
I would not expect them to put their heads above the parapet until the definitive agreements are signed; particularly as this still has to be ratified by the EFL.
Jeremy Dale and co will undoubtedly have seen what happened to Maxco last year and I have no doubt they will not want to repeat the same errors when they are this close to completion.